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30 Jun, 2021 17:55

‘Is being a dumb*ss an arrestable offence?’: Row breaks out after woman is ARRESTED for causing Tour de France pileup (VIDEO)

‘Is being a dumb*ss an arrestable offence?’: Row breaks out after woman is ARRESTED for causing Tour de France pileup (VIDEO)

An unnamed French woman has surrendered to authorities who were seeking a spectator on suspicion of causing the massive crash which involved several riders during the first day of the Tour de France.

In footage which has since gone viral, a spectator at Saturday's first day of the Tour caused a large accident at the front of the field when German rider Tony Martin crashed into a sign she was holding which read "Granny and Grandad" written in German, prompting Martin to crash and bring down dozens or riders in the peloton behind him between Brest and Landerneau.

The collision led to a sizeable delay in the race as riders were forced to untangle themselves and deal with minor injuries and impact damage to their bikes. Eight cyclists were treated by the official Tour de France doctor, while one – Jasha Sutterlin – was forced to pull out of the race altogether.

It was also reported that several spectators were hurt. 

French authorities subsequently launched a manhunt for the spectator in question amid media reports that they could face up to a year in jail for causing the crash.

On Wednesday, police received a breakthrough when an unnamed 30-year-old French woman presented herself to authorities in Landerneau, Brittany – the area which hosted the first four stages of the Tour.

"The woman has been formally identified and she was taken into custody a few minutes ago," a source from the French police told AFP, while a state prosecutor in Brittany also confirmed that a suspect was in custody. 

It also seems that the woman may face a legal minefield related to the incident, with Tour de France organizers pledging to launch civil action against her concurrent to the criminal case.

"We are suing this woman who behaved so badly," Tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault announced after the accident. 

"We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this do not spoil the show for everyone," he added.

According to police on Saturday, they intend to charge the woman with "unintentional short-term injury through a manifestly deliberate breach of a duty of safety or care".

The incident has also ignited a broader debate about race security, and how a member of the public could get so close to the head of the field at the world's most celebrated cycling event. 

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The arrest of the suspect also prompted another furious debate online as to whether the incident should be considered as criminal or simply an accident. 

"Not sure that being kind of a dumbass is an arrestable offence," argued one person on Twitter.

"Cycling needs to put foot on the ball here," said another call for leniency. "The woman was stupid and ignorant and got it badly wrong but do we really want her sued, and for what and how much?

"A bit of education and a stern talking too will surely suffice."

"Pretty sure negligence is a crime," countered another.

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